Celebrity hairstylist Marc Mena, based at Warren Tricomi Salon in Manhattan, is always in demand for his chic cuts and sophisticated styles. He also is renowned for being the city’s go-to artist for hair extensions. One of his loyal clients is Marie Claire fashion director and "Project Runway" judge Nina Garcia, whose impeccable taste, mixed with intelligence, warmth, humor and just the right amount of tough love when it’s required, have put her in a class all her own. Mena caught up with Garcia on the set of "Project Runway," which just wrapped shooting season 10, and asked her all about her plans for New York Fashion Week, her survival guide tips and, of course, her makeup must-haves.
It's 7 a.m. on the last day of shooting "Project Runway," before our grand finale at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week. My lovely friend, Nina, and I start our morning routine going over the latest news in WWD and checking out what's happening in fashion. While we talk, I set her hair in rollers to create maximum body—enough to withstand a long day of filming under hot lights. I then add a little texture (but not curl) with a one-inch curling iron. And voilà, Señora Garcia is done! From here, she begins to pull multiple looks from top designers to find the perfect outfit for that day’s episode. As she peels through each garment, we begin our interview. What better time than when she is in her element?
How many shows do you attend each season?
Five to ten shows a day for two to three weeks.
What is your beauty survival strategy for New York Fashion Week?
Lots of rest and water. Staying hydrated, being in the moment and enjoying myself.
You've just finishing shooting another season of "Project Runway." After weeks of TV makeup and lights, are there any special secrets you can share for keeping your skin healthy and glowing?
Deep cleansing, microdermabrasion and oxygen facials before and after filming.
How do fashion and beauty influence each other?
Tremendously—they have a natural synergy. You can't have one without the other.
Does runway beauty ever inspire you to try something new?
Yes! The ombré and textured hair all inspired me.
Okay, are you ready for the lightening round? What's more important: Hair or shoes?
Mascara or lipstick?
Neither. A stain.
Cat eye or smoky eye?
Hair with body or super-sleek strands?
What shows are you really excited to see?
Michael Kors, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Altuzarra and 3.1 Phillip Lim, just to name a few.
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Photo: Courtesy of Marc Mena